Vegan Chquash (Chard & Squash) Risotto
Risotto is one of my all time favorite meals, especially in the cooler weather. Comfort food to the max. I confess that I usually make it with butter, and cream, and a little cheese. Hells yes. While that is A-OK with me once in awhile, it’s nice to give your system a break with a cleaner version of this delightful, cozy meal. I was inspired to make this meal by the amazing Whatley Farm in Topsham, ME. They have the most gorgeous organic produce that I picked up at the Brunswick Farmers Market.
If you’re not into chard, this would also be fantastic with spinach, or arugula, or mushrooms, etc. What I would not substitute is the roasted squash. It makes the perfect substitute for the cheese and the cream I would typically add at the end because it provides the moisture that is needed to finish the risotto. Plus, it’s fall and I am putting squash in everything because it’s delicious!
Serves 4 Ingredients: 2 large shallots, diced 2 squash, use your favorite varieties! 3 cups chard, with stems, roughly chopped 1 ¼ c arborio rice ½ c olive oil ½ c white wine, preferably chardonnay 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast 2 Tbsp tamari sauce salt and pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Drizzle ¼ c OO over squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about 45 minutes until squash is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool before scooping out the inside of the squash. Set aside. (You can do this up to 3 days ahead). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In another large, heavy bottom pot, heat remaining ¼ c OO over medium high heat. Add shallot and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat each grain with oil until it starts to toast and smell a little nutty, about 4 minutes. Add wine and stir often until almost all the wine is evaporated. Add 3 ladles of your boiling water and continue to stir until all of that is nearly evaporated. Add 2 more ladles of water and stir until that is almost evaporated. Continue this process until your rice has significantly expanded and is a little more than al dente. Now, add your roasted squash, 1 more ladle of water, nutritional yeast, tamari, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Add chard and more water if necessary. Stir well. Remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Stir again and add more salt or water, if necessary. Serve with cracked black pepper. Enjoy!